Current WIP project - Overgrown Mansion

Sunday, June 18, 2017

For a long time I've been trying to use Substance more for my work but I was having hard time getting into it. I always felt that Substance was taking longer than other workflows that I'm used to. But seeing all the awesome work ppl were doing with it I was feeling like I was missing out on something.

But for this project I decided I was gonna dive deep into Substance and (hopefully) get some good stuff done. And yeah, now it really feels that I broke the block and Substance is really great once you get into it. Like that wasn’t obvious :d

Most of the textures here are done with substance, except for foliage. I still have hard time with base heightmaps so I went for sculpts. Basically just for the major forms, like wood plans and bricks, I just really wanted to have that control over details, like sculpting out that one corner on that one brick just because it feels like that corner should be broken off. And that it still a great workflow in my opinion, hand sculpting out the big shapes that define the texture and putting details with subtance. Color/roughness/normal is all Substance though.

Feels good finally getting good grip over Substance Designer, definitely sticking with it from now on.

Swamp Finished

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wow, I'm late for this :d

Anyways, Swamp has been finished for couple of weeks now, it's available in Unreal Marketplace here"

Now I (finally) started getting my portfolio together in Artstation, Swamp being the first piece I decided to update it a little bit. I polished up some rougher bits, added extra little details for some shots and removed couple assets, mostly trees for better composition. Added background mountains as topping on a cake. They aren't part of the Swamp Pack in Marketplace though, those come from separate project I did.

Quite happy how this turned out, I spent so much time trying to grab good high ress images as I couln't use Screenshot tool in UE4 since it doesn't use Temporal AA, which is essential for water to look correct. Had to play a lot with Supersampling and whatnot, which made things run at like 1 FPS. And after all that work I found out that Artstation downsamples everything to 1080p anyway, so screwed me a little bit. Got all those high resses anyway, maybe will upload somewhere separately. 

All in all, good stuff I think, spent quite a bitg of effort on this and I think this might be my best piece yet.

Swamp almost finished!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

So as I was working towards wrapping the project I kind of realized that it was going pretty smooth so why not do more with this? Therefore I started expanding the map, essentially just using existing assets to create more houses and whatnot and to add extra polish and details.

I started adding extra shacks and modifying landscape while still maintaining connectivity to existing map. Started experimenting with some unique assets like water wheel, windmill, running river (that powers water wheel). Dynamic elements like that really brings environments to life and they tend to be rather easy to do. I mean all water wheel needs to do is spin, which is something you can do with 3 clicks in Unreal, just and Rotator component to dynamic mesh. Same with windmill, you just have to center out the pivot of whatever actor is supposed to rotate as it will rotate arround the axis of that pivot. Did same thing with gears that the water wheel spins. 

Hate the fact that SSR is so reliant on Temporal AA, as TAA isn't getting rendered in high-ress shots, therefore reflections look subpar. Might have to solve this with planar reflections and cubemaps. Tried running it in supersampled resolution but FPS drops like crazy, very hard to take screenshots when it's running at like 1-2 FPS.

But anyways, quite happy how things are turning out. Really liked the workflows in here, stayed very modular from very start while making it look as un-modular as possible, did some fine foliage which was always a challenge for me and managed to get some really cool colors going without it looking noisy as hell. Or maybe I'm wrong and it actually looks like crap but I like it nevertheless :D

Should wrap this up soon, next update should be the last.

Swamp WIP #3

Monday, February 6, 2017

Things looking good. Lots of small additions and tweaks.

Got in some extra assets like proper cloth/net, ropes and metal parts. Set up some vertex shaders to paint wetness/moss on wood and moss/wind on ropes. All painting done inside UE with paint tool. 

Also added mask on wood that enables wood to have paint layer on top of it. It uses bitmap mask for that, I got 3 of them in Photoshop with color range selection, just playing with intensities and whatnot. Idea was to use base diffuse and get correct information from it to then overlay that mask inside editor so that paint layer and diffuse underneath blend perfectly, creating convincing look. As the pain layer is just a mask, you can change it in material instance, you can choose from 3 different masks (all gray packed into single texture) and tweak other parameters like color, roughness, spec etc.

Also tried out new LoD system that came out with 4.14, it's fantastic. Basically like Simplygon but free and works within the engine. Very fast and produces great results, frankly cannot ask more from it (maybe some kind of billboard generation for things like trees, the way Speedtree does it, but that a little crazy I think).

Was a little worried that trees might look too good as they are done entirely by hand and there are issues with shading, but in the end I think results are great.

Swamp WIP #2

Monday, January 30, 2017

Some more updates: got some water in, tweaked lighting quite a bit, did bunch of extra assets.

Lighting really needed tweaking in my opinion, results that I have now are much better than before I think. Some very light color corrections happening too but nothing major.

Water is quite early on too but most of the features are in. Translucent with depth fade, picking up SSR, might try planar reflections and see how those work. There is some nice movement on the dirt on the water, quite happy about that. Strangely enough, giving water certain metalicity value (0.5 for me there) makes the water look much more, well, water-y. Not exactly sure why that’s the case ‘cause I believe every water shader I’ve seen doesn’t use metalicity in any way, but without it it just looks like plastic. Interesting.

Did some cloth, looks alright, might do some more as props and whatnot.

Still a long way to go, but it’s shaping up nicely, more updates in coming days!

Swamp WIP

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Things are shaping up nicely. Got a good pipeline for making meshes so keeping things as modular as possible, using combination of unique and tillable textures. Made a simple Landscape to get basic layout down.

Still need to do the water surface and get some better lighting/PP setup.

New year brings new things

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Well damn. 2016 is behind us. Hello 2017?

What's better way to start a new year other than by doing new cool stuff. This is something I've been working on for some time:

Kind of a swamp scene. Wooden buildings, all modular, some foliage like trees, grass and moss, some water flowing around (it's a swamp after all). Pretty early shot, still a long way to go but basics are down and looking fine. Was pain to get foliage looking right, especially grass. Had to dissect Epic's shader for it, still not fully understand it but hey, it looks good.

Want to make this all foggy and wet, will see how it goes, more updates soon.